When it comes to food, there’s almost nothing Christine Manfield hasn’t done. She’s an Australian chef, a restauranter, author, food manufacturer, presenter, and teacher. She is best known for not being shy when it comes to putting flavours into dishes, and has even been dubbed Sydney’s ‘Spice Queen’.
Manfield is the brains behind her own range of spice and paste condiments, Christine Manfield Spice Collection. She has also authored several cookbooks including Tasting India and Fire and Spice. Come October 21, Manfield will be releasing another cookbook, A Personal Guide to India and Bhutan where she offers tips of top places to eat, go, see when visiting India and Bhutan.
Who is your inspiration?
The world, travel, books, friends, colleagues – too hard to pinpoint to any one person or thing.
What’s currently in your pantry?
Multitude of spices that I use daily, Chilli Jam, Harissa, fabulous olive oils, Olssen sea salt flakes, pomegranate molasses, Wellington Apiary honey, organic coconut oil, pappadams, organic pasta, brown rice, and various grains.
What’s in your fridge?
Pepe Saya butter and truffle butter, green vegetables for juicing (a daily ritual), apples, a couple of different curry pastes.
Best thing to come out of the microwave?
I have never used one, don’t own one and never intend to.
What did you last eat?
Seafood fregola made in style of risotto.
Where do you like to eat out?
I mix it up a bit when I eat out. We have lots of casual options in our neighbourhood – Monopole, Billy Kwong, MissyFrench, ChoChoSan, Zinc for brunch, Room 10 for breakfast. For smart dining, I head to either Sokyo, Bridge Room, Rockpool, or Bennelong. Am always open to a new discovery and revisiting many of my favourites.
When I’m not cooking, I’m…
Travelling, reading, writing, teaching, exploring, and researching.
Butter, margarine, a mix or neither?
Always butter, never ever margarine – why would you? Flavour and integrity of product is paramount. There is nothing natural about margarine.
Kitchen tools I can’t live without
Thermomix, a microplane, and a sharp chefs knife.
Cookbooks I always return to
Anything by Yotam Ottolenghi and Maggie Beer, The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander, David Thompson’s Thai Food. There’s a whole heap more, too numerous to list here. I have an enormous library of food books.